Armistice of Znaim

The Armistice of Znaim was a ceasefire agreed between Archduke Charles and Napoleon I on 12 July 1809 following the Battle of Znaim, effectively ending hostilities between Austria and France in the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Following defeat at the Battle of Wagram, Archduke Charles retreated north into Bohemia hoping to regroup his battered forces. The French army had also suffered in the battle and did not give immediate pursuit. But two days after the battle, Napoleon ordered his troops north intending to defeat the Austrians once and for all. The French eventually caught up the Austrians at Znaim (now Znojmo, Czech Republic) on 10 July 1809. Realising they were in no position to give battle, the Austrians proposed a ceasefire as Archduke Charles went to begin peace negotiations with Napoleon. However, Marshal Auguste de Marmont refused to observe the ceasefire and committed his XI Corps of around 10,000 men into battle. With Marmont greatly outnumbered, André Masséna had no choice but to support him. By 11 July, Masséna's corps had joined Marmont's in battle but the Austrians had also reinforced their position around Znaim. After two days of futile fighting, with both sides suffering similar casualties and neither side gaining any advantage, Napoleon finally arrived with news of an armistice and ordered Marmont to end the battle.

Although the Battle of Znaim was the last action between Austria and France in the war, a formal peace was not agreed until the Treaty of Schönbrunn was signed on 14 October 1809, which finally ended the War of the Fifth Coalition.

Battle of Znaim
Part of the War of the Fifth Coalition
Date10–11 July 1809
Location
Result Armistice
Belligerents
Austrian Empire Austrian Empire France First French Empire
Commanders and leaders
Archduke Charles of Austria Auguste de Marmont on the 10th, joined by Napoleon I and André Masséna on the 11th
Strength
40,000[1]-47,000 10,000 on the 10th, joined by Masséna's reinforcements on the 11th totalling 30,000
Casualties and losses
5,300 3,100

Prelude

The immediate cause of the two-day Battle of Znaim was the decision of the Austrian commander in chief, Archduke Charles, to stage a rearguard action near the town of Znaim, about 80 kilometers north of Vienna, in order to give his army time to withdraw its baggage train in safety toward Moravia. Marmont’s two combined French and Bavarian corps were the first of Napoleon’s troops to arrive on the field following the course of the river Thaya. Believing that he faced only a rear guard, Marmont ordered his Bavarian troops to take the village of Tesswitz south of Znaim, while the rest of his troops attacked the village of Zuckerhandl.[2]

Battle

The Bavarians succeeded in storming Tesswitz but were then thrown out by Austrian reinforcements. Marmont renewed the Bavarian attack, and Tesswitz was retaken, only to be lost soon after. The village changed hands a number of times during the day, this contest constituting the heaviest fighting the Bavarians saw in the whole campaign. Marmont had hoped to swing his cavalry in behind the Austrian rear guard, but on reaching high ground above Tesswitz, they were faced with five enemy corps. The French cavalry was forced to withdraw in the face of a large body of Austrian cuirassiers.[1]

Marmont was now engaged by 40,000 Austrian troops and was heavily outnumbered. His men nevertheless managed to hold on to both Tesswitz and Zuckerhandl overnight. Archduke Charles withdrew his forces into a strong defensive position situated so as to hold the north bank of the Thaya and Znaim. Napoleon arrived at Tesswitz at 10:00 A.M., and despite the fact that he had brought with him reinforcements of cavalry and artillery, he believed that his force was too weak to launch a full-scale attack. His plan therefore was to employ Masséna’s corps to pin the Austrians throughout the day and to await the corps of marshals Louis-Nicolas Davout and Nicolas Oudinot, which would be able to arrive early on the twelfth. Masséna launched his attack on the extreme right of the Austrian position during midmorning and quickly seized the main bridge across the Thaya south of Znaim. His troops took two small villages and then advanced directly on Znaim. Charles meanwhile reinforced the Austrian position with two grenadier brigades, which advanced during a thunderstorm and initially threw the French back.[1]

The situation was stabilized by a body of French cavalry at approximately 7:00 P.M., when French and Austrian staff officers rode along the opposing lines announcing a cease-fire, which led to the signature of an armistice on the twelfth. Znaim was to prove the last action of the 1809 campaign. The two sides signed a treaty of peace at the Schönbrunn Palace on 14 October.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Ralph Baker in The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (main editor) (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006) 1112.
  2. ^ Ralph Baker in The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars by Gregory Fremont-Barnes (main editor) (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2006) 1111-1112.

Coordinates: 48°51′20″N 16°02′56″E / 48.8556°N 16.0489°E

1809 in France

Events from the year 1809 in France.

Andreas Hofer

Andreas Hofer (November 22, 1767 – February 20, 1810) was a Tyrolean innkeeper and drover, who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the revolutionary Napoleonic invasion during the War of the Fifth Coalition. He was subsequently captured and executed.

Hofer is still today venerated as a folk hero, freedom fighter and Austrian patriot.

Battle of Gefrees

The Battle of Gefrees was fought on 8 July 1809 during the War of the Fifth Coalition between a joint force of Austrians and Brunswickers under the command of General Kienmayer and a French force under the command of General Junot, Duke of Abrantès. The battle ended in victory for the Austrians who avoided being trapped by Junot and a force of Saxons and Westphalians led by Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. After Jérôme's troops were defeated at the Battle of Hof, the Austrians effectively had control over all of Saxony. However the victory was in vain, due to the major Austrian defeat at Wagram and the Armistice of Znaim.

Battle of Halberstadt

The Battle of Halberstadt took place on 29 and 30 July 1809 at Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Westphalia, during the War of the Fifth Coalition. A Westphalian infantry force attempted to halt the Black Brunswickers under Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel who were heading for North Sea coast. However, the Brunswickers surprised the Westphalians by a rapid advance and defeated them inside the town.

Battle of Wagram

The Battle of Wagram ([ˈvaɡram]; 5–6 July 1809) was a military engagement of the Napoleonic Wars that ended in a costly but decisive victory for Emperor Napoleon I's French and allied army against the Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen. The battle led to the breakup of the Fifth Coalition, the Austrian and British-led alliance against France.

In 1809, the French military presence in Germany was diminished as Napoleon transferred a number of soldiers to fight in the Peninsular War. As a result, the Austrian Empire saw its chance to recover some of its former sphere of influence and invaded the Kingdom of Bavaria, a French ally. Recovering from his initial surprise, Napoleon beat the Austrian forces and occupied Vienna at the beginning of May 1809. Despite the string of sharp defeats and the loss of the empire's capital, Archduke Charles salvaged an army, with which he retreated north of the Danube. This allowed the Austrians to continue the war. Towards the end of May, Napoleon resumed the offensive, suffering a surprise defeat at the Battle of Aspern-Essling.

It took Napoleon six weeks to prepare his next offensive, for which he amassed a 165,000-man French, German and Italian army in the vicinity of Vienna. The Battle of Wagram began after Napoleon crossed the Danube with the bulk of these forces during the night of 4 July and attacked the 145,000-man strong Austrian army. Having successfully crossed the river, Napoleon attempted an early breakthrough and launched a series of evening attacks against the Austrian army. The Austrians were thinly spread in a wide semicircle, but held a naturally strong position. After the attackers enjoyed some initial success, the defenders regained the upper hand and the attacks failed. Bolstered by his success, the next day at dawn Archduke Charles launched a series of attacks along the entire battle line, seeking to take the opposing army in a double envelopment. The offensive failed against the French right but nearly broke Napoleon's left. However, the Emperor countered by launching a cavalry charge, which temporarily halted the Austrian advance. He then redeployed IV Corps to stabilise his left, while setting up a grand battery, which pounded the Austrian right and centre. The tide of battle turned and the Emperor launched an offensive along the entire line, while Maréchal Louis-Nicolas Davout drove an offensive, which turned the Austrian left, and rendered Charles's position untenable. Towards mid-afternoon on 6 July, Charles admitted defeat and led a retreat, frustrating enemy attempts to pursue. After the battle, Charles remained in command of a cohesive force and decided to retreat to Bohemia. However, the Grande Armée eventually caught up with him and scored a victory at the Battle of Znaim. With the battle still raging, Charles decided to ask for an armistice, effectively ending the war.

With 80,000 casualties, the two-day battle of Wagram was particularly bloody, mainly due to the use of 1,000 artillery pieces and the expenditure of over 180,000 rounds of artillery ammunition on a flat battlefield packed with some 300,000 men. Although Napoleon was the uncontested winner, he failed to secure an overwhelming victory and the Austrian casualties were only slightly greater than those of the French and allies. Nonetheless, the defeat was serious enough to shatter the morale of the Austrians, who could no longer find the will to continue the struggle. The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn meant the loss of one sixth of the Austrian Empire's subjects, along with some territories, rendering it landlocked until the German Campaign of 1813.

Black Brunswickers

The Brunswick Ducal Corps (German: Herzoglich Braunschweigisches Korps), commonly known as the Black Brunswickers in English and the Schwarze Schar (Black Troop, Black Horde, or Black Host) or Schwarze Legion (Black Legion) in German, were a military unit in the Napoleonic Wars. The corps was raised from volunteers by German-born Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1771–1815) . The Duke was a harsh opponent of Napoleon Bonaparte's occupation of his native Germany. Formed in 1809 when war broke out between the First French Empire and the Austrian Empire, the corps initially comprised a mixed force, around 2,300 strong, of infantry, cavalry and later supporting artillery.Most units of the corps wore black uniforms, leading to the "black" nicknames of the unit, though some light units (such as sharpshooters and uhlans) wore green uniforms. The Brunswickers wore silvered skull badges on their hats. Their title originated from Duke Frederick William, who claimed the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, which the French had abolished in order to incorporate its lands into the French satellite Kingdom of Westphalia. The Black Brunswickers earned themselves a fearsome reputation over the following decade, taking part in several significant battles including the pre-Waterloo engagement at Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815, where the Duke lost his life. However, recruiting, the replacement of casualties, and finance had always been problematic, and the corps was disbanded in the early 1820s.

The exploits of the Brunswickers caught the British Victorian public's imagination: an example of this can be found in John Everett Millais's painting The Black Brunswicker. Completed in 1860, the painting depicts a Brunswicker in his black uniform bidding goodbye to an unnamed woman.

Continental System

The Continental System or Continental Blockade (known in French as Blocus continental) was the foreign policy of Napoleon I of France against the United Kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars. As a response to the naval blockade of the French coasts enacted by the British government on 16 May 1806, Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree on 21 November 1806, which brought into effect a large-scale embargo against British trade. The embargo was applied intermittently, ending on 11 April 1814 after Napoleon's first abdication. The blockade caused little economic damage to the UK, although British exports to the continent (as a proportion of the UK's total trade) dropped from 55% to 25% between 1802 and 1806. As Napoleon realized that extensive trade was going through Spain and Russia, he invaded those two countries. His forces were tied down in Spain—in which the Spanish War of Independence was occurring simultaneously—and suffered severely in, and ultimately retreated from, Russia in 1812.

The Berlin Decree forbade the import of British goods into any European countries allied with or dependent upon France, and it installed the Continental System in Europe. All connections with Britain were to be cut, even the mail. British merchants smuggled in many goods and the Continental System was not a powerful weapon of economic war. There was some damage to British trade, especially in 1808 and 1812, but British control of the oceans led to replacement trade with North and South America, as well as large scale smuggling in Europe.

The loss of Britain as a trading partner also hit the economies of France and its allies. Angry governments gained an incentive to ignore the Continental System, which led to the weakening of Napoleon's coalition.

Géraud Duroc

Géraud Christophe Michel Duroc, 1st Duc de Frioul (October 25, 1772 – May 23, 1813) was a French general noted for his association with Napoleon.

History of Tyrol

The history of Tyrol, a historical region in the middle alpine area of Central Europe, dates back to early human settlements at the end of the last glacier period, around 12,000 BC. Sedentary settlements of farmers and herders can be traced back to 5000 BC. Many of the main and side valleys were settled during the early Bronze Age, from 1800 to 1300 BC. From these settlements, two prominent cultures emerged: the Laugen-Melaun culture in the Bronze Age, and the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture in the Iron Age.

The region was conquered by the Romans in 15 BC. The northern and eastern areas were incorporated into the Roman Empire as the provinces of Raetia and Noricum, leaving deep impressions on the culture and language, with the Rhaeto-Romance languages. Following the conquest of Italy by the Goths, Tyrol became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in the fifth and sixth centuries. In 553, southern Tyrol was incorporated into the Lombards' Kingdom of Italy, northern Tyrol came under the influence of the Bavarii, and western Tyrol became part of Alamannia—the three areas meeting at present-day Bolzano.

In 774, Charlemagne conquered the Lombards, and as a consequence, Tyrol became an important bridgehead to Italy. In the eleventh century, the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire granted the counties of Trento, Bolzano, and Vinschgau to the Bishopric of Trent, and the county of Norital and Puster Valley to the Bishopric of Brixen—effectually placing the region under the control of the Emperors.

In the coming centuries, the counts residing in Tirol Castle near Merano extended their territory over the region. Later counts would hold much of their territory directly from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Meinhardinger family, originating in Gorizia, controlled the Tyrol, Gorizia, and the Duchy of Carinthia. By 1295, the "county and reign of Tyrol" had established itself firmly in the "Land on the Adige and Inn", as the region was then called. When the Meinhardiner dynasty died out in 1369, the Tyrol was ceded to the House of Habsburg, who ruled over the region for the next five and a half centuries, with a brief period of control in the early nineteenth century by the Bavarians during the Napoleonic Wars.

At the conclusion of World War I, the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 1919 ceded the southern part of Tyrol to the Kingdom of Italy, including present day-South Tyrol with its large German-speaking majority. The northern part of Tyrol was retained by the First Austrian Republic. The historical region is formed by the present-day Austrian State of Tyrol and the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino. The boundaries of this Tyrol–South Tyrol–Trentino Euroregion correspond to the former Habsburg County of Tyrol, which gave this historical region its name.

John Moore (British Army officer)

Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, (13 November 1761 – 16 January 1809) was a British Army general, also known as Moore of Corunna. He is best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he repulsed a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular War. After the war General Sarrazin wrote a French history of the battle, which nonetheless may have been written in light of subsequent events, stating that "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the British gained a defensive victory, though dearly purchased with the loss of their brave general Moore, who was alike distinguished for his private virtues, and his military talents."

Treaty of Schönbrunn

The Treaty of Schönbrunn (French: Traité de Schönbrunn; German: Friede von Schönbrunn), sometimes known as the Peace of Schönbrunn or Treaty of Vienna, was signed between France and Austria at Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna on 14 October 1809. The treaty ended the Fifth Coalition during the Napoleonic Wars, after Austria had been defeated at the decisive Battle of Wagram on 5-6 July.

Tyrolean Rebellion

The Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 (German: Tiroler Volksaufstand) was a rebellion of peasants in the County of Tyrol led by Andreas Hofer against the occupation of their homeland by the French and Bavarian troops within the context of the War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon I.

War of the Fifth Coalition

The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleon's French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the main participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July, with very high casualty rates for both sides. Britain, already involved on the European continent in the ongoing Peninsular War, sent another expedition, the Walcheren Campaign, to the Netherlands in order to relieve the Austrians, although this effort had little impact on the outcome of the conflict. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the bloody struggle at Wagram in early July.

The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn was the harshest that France had imposed on Austria in recent memory. Metternich and Archduke Charles had the preservation of the Habsburg Empire as their fundamental goal, and to this end the former succeeded in making Napoleon seek more modest goals in return for promises of Franco-Austrian peace and friendship. Nevertheless, while most of the hereditary lands remained part of Habsburg territories, France received Carinthia, Carniola, and the Adriatic ports, while Galicia was given to the Poles and the Salzburg area of the Tyrol went to the Bavarians. Austria lost over three million subjects, about one-fifth of her total population, as a result of these territorial changes.

Although the Fifth Coalition ended, Britain, Spain and Portugal remained at war with France in the ongoing Peninsular War. There was peace in central and eastern Europe until Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, which led to the formation of the Sixth Coalition in 1813.

Znojmo

Znojmo (Czech pronunciation: [ˈznoimo]; German: Znaim) is a major town in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, the administrative capital of the Znojmo District. It is the historical and cultural centre of southwestern Moravia.

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